If I had to describe this show in four words, the following spring to mind: sweat, excitement, thirst and tears! Firstly, the opening acts alone were inspiring. The show opened with a surprise guest performance by Social House, quickly setting the tone for the night ahead. Bouncing on stage with backpacks, the playful duo from Pittsburgh created an exciting atmosphere from the outset. They performed various songs from their EP Everything Changed, including Magic in the Hamptons and Tropical Rain. After their performance, English singer Ella Mai hit the stage and the crowd went wild. In her white Air Forces and her pastel-coloured outfit, Mai performed songs from her latest album such as Boo’d Up and Shot Clock. She closed her set with Trip, leaving the crowd in anticipation.
Even though the wait for Ariana was long (the show started a little after 7pm and she didn’t appear until 9.30pm), it was well worth it. And I must pause for a second to rave about her stage-wear: satin, knee-high platforms, leather bralettes, Clueless-inspired pleated skirts – she really had it all, and looked absolutely phenomenal. She opened her performance with Raindrops, a short song full of emotion, followed by God is a Woman. Listen, we all believed it.
“The energy in the arena was mesmerising. Everyone on stage was united; the dancers were smiling, Ariana was glowing, they were all interacting with the crowd and it created a sense of unity.”
We’re all familiar with Ariana. We know her from her Victorious days, her pop hits, her signature ponytail and the sheer horror of the Manchester attacks. Even so, it is impossible to describe the energy that this woman radiates on stage. It consumes you and moves you, her voice is strikingly powerful, the woman can sing! I was afraid her lungs would explode, and yet she hit every note effortlessly. The crowd got to appreciate her confidence and growth as an artist through Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored and Dangerous Woman, the battle she fought with mental health with songs like Breathin’, and her undeniable talent as a vocalist with God is a Woman.
The energy in the arena was mesmerising. Everyone on stage was united: the dancers were smiling, Ariana was glowing, they were all interacting with the crowd and it created a sense of unity. When she performed No Tears Left to Cry towards the end of the night, that was it. I saw a woman who has managed to pick herself up and heal despite everything she’s been through. The pure realisation of her strength was the most powerful and moving moment of the event. Her music is her healing and that in itself is inspiring for any young artist who may feel daunted or intimidated while pursuing their passion.
“Her music is her healing and that in itself is inspiring for any young artist who may feel daunted or intimidated while pursuing their passion.”
In addition, the services in the 3Arena must be praised. Two girls standing nearby fainted, and everyone around us helped – a heartwarming sight in such a chaotic environment. Water was handed out regularly throughout the performances, so the audience could cope with the heat. The heat was partially with thanks to the pandemonium of the puffer jacket, as people were dressed too heavily for such conditions.
The crowd was still singing even after the concert had ended, perfectly epitomising how powerful the popstar is. As she proclaimed in an emotional interview on Beats 1, she strives to unite people and “hug” them through her music. When I left I was a sweaty, emotional mess but without a doubt, very blessed.